by Neuhaus
Info Details
Country Belgium   
Type Dark   (67%)
Strain (probably ICS)
Source Trinidad   (Sangre Grande; Manickchand Plantation)
Flavor Spices & Herbs   (& a little Naked)
Style Classic      
Cacáo, the smoke-magician, filtered thru technological mirrors, wizards up a contrasting dry taste in a wet texture

Appearance   4.8 / 5
Color: polychromatic (red, orange, purple, & brown)
Surface: scored into vertical & horizontal corduroy-lines creating opticon pattern
Temper: soft gloss
Snap: tight in the midrange; strong, jagged edge wall maintains integrity
Aroma   7.8 / 10
manifestly earthen; tobacco cuts thru savanna woods, nuts, buttered-leather & even some 'soiled-dooky'... to put it kindly (really a manure-sewer), plus a thin veil of cocoa & sugar cane -> vaporizes a mite kerosene
Mouthfeel   12.1 / 15
Texture: firm butter... wax
Melt: coagulates some (as if too much lecithin) before irrigates & liquifies; slight grip at the finish
Flavor   45.3 / 50
semisweet spiced-chocolate (cinnamon, licorice, vanilla) which tobacco ‘n grass burn up into dry cocoa -> browned fruit (figs, raisins) propel underlying chocolate thru the length over passing yam -> then mamey sapote -> breadfruit -> hibiscus -> goes out in a puff of vanilla coconut w/ backdrop coffee -> brief black cherry sunset... after-length cardamom cocoa, then cedar deep in the shaft
Quality   18.2 / 20
From Paul Manickchand’s HDP (High Density Planting) estate of 30 acres with 75,000 trees (1 plant every 6 feet), a form of monoculture farming (as opposed to diverse forest-gardens). Beyond the obvious productivity gains, its effect on organoleptics favors the cacáo tree, some Gaia-proponents of phantom-flavors would say, almost solely, the inter-root system absorbing little if any crossover from other flora (because they aren’t there), hence a more streamline flavor profile (late-stage offsets generated in large measure by vanilla additive).

HDP at Sangre Grande

Neuhaus’ configuration here seems high in cacáo butter (told by the Texture & perhaps generating some off-island notes too – breadfruit, for instance, suggestive more of Central America) & sugar (33%, though never really gets in the way, remaining subservient as a catalytic converter to cacáo’s manifold compounds). And cocoa-mass more than holds its own - somewhat atypical for an origin known for delicate tones. This particular bar also possesses light feel yet it’s potent enough to surmise, & in the context of reasons already cited, that HDP may be responsible in part (notwithstanding the variables of ferment, roasting, & conching) for producing a more condensed if not virile strain which goes against the conventional wisdom that more plants means each pulls less nutrients from the soil.

ING: cocoa mass, sugar, cacáo butter, lecithin, vanilla


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